UFC returns to Toronto for UFC 140 on Dec. 10
Toronto has won the day for the UFC's next excursion into Canada.
After the promotion considered events in the Ontario capital as well as in Montreal, Quebec, which was the site of four previous (and lucrative) shows, Toronto's Air Canada Centre will host host UFC 140 on Dec. 10 .
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed the event location with sources close to negotiations. ESPN first reported it.
Sergei Kharitonov: “Alex Emelianenko is a mistake of nature”
Sergei Kharitonov told ValeTudo.ru about Fedor`s fight and his brother Alex problems with akcohol, drugs, prison and more!
The long-expected SF: Fedor vs. Henderson tournament where Dan Henderson defeated Fedor Emelianenko in the main event of the evening took part yesterday. Not long before it Fedor’s brother Alexander Emelianenko gave a scandalous interview where he said some unflattering words about Strikeforce Grand prix semi-finalist Sergei Kharitonov. Sergeicould find some time during his preparation to Josh Barnett in Thailand and shared some of his thoughts on the last events with us.
Keith Jardine Dropping to Middleweight, Wants Cung Le
Former UFC and current Strikeforce fighter Keith Jardine is dropping to middleweight, and he has one name on his mind for a debut fight at 185 - former Strikeforce middleweight champion Cung Le. Le has been campaigning for a fight in the UFC, but Jardine wants to duke it out in a Strikeforce cage. He had a lot to say to MMA Weekly about Le:
"Just looking out there, they need to get a fight for me, and it needs to be a big named guy, I want it to be a big named guy. Looking at Strikeforce seeing who they’ve got and there’s not much bigger than Cung Le. I thought that would be a great match-up."
Aleksander Emelianenko Trashes Fedor's Coaches Following Loss to Dan Henderson
One of the few bright spots that were talked about during Fedor Emelianenko's preparations for his Strikeforce bout against Dan Henderson, was him re-uniting with his brother Aleksander. The two had a falling-out of sorts, and after two straight losses for Fedor, they mended fences and trained together again.
Shortly after his brother's loss though, Aleks spoke out and had some harsh words for Fedor's coaches. He talked to LifeSports.ru about it, in a phone interview (translated by Fighters Only):
"They sat like two amoebas, and did not know what to say. They were asked direct questions and would say, "It is difficult to say… we will see in the fight," - what kind of a coach says that? Only one who doesn’t understand the sport. I just call them ‘Stopwatch’ and ‘Towel’. That's as much use as they are, that's it,"
Leonard Garcia Out, Jim Hettes In Against Alex Caceres at UFC on Versus 5
Leonard Garcia will have to a wait a little while longer to try and get back into the win column. The veteran featherweight was forced out of his August 14th fight with Alex Caceres at UFC on Versus 5 and will be replaced by the debuting Jim Hettes. UFC.com has it:
"Leonard Garcia is out with an injury, so newly signed prospect Jim Hettes is taking his place vs Alex "Bruce Leroy" Caceres on August 14 in Milwaukee," said White. "Hettes is undefeated as a pro and has finished all opponents by submission. Caceres has also never gone the distance. Both fighters have verbally agreed to the bout."
UFC 133 Fight Card: Rashad Evans 'Would Love To Fight' Dan Henderson
Dan Henderson picked up a huge win this past Saturday, knocking out legendary heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson. With his contract ending with Strikeforce, and having picked up three solid wins in a row, it's no shock that the talk of a Hendo return to the UFC has picked up.
Rashad Evans was supposed to be fighting for the UFC light heavyweight championship this weekend against Jon Jones, but an injury forced Jones off the card followed by Phil Davis pulling out with injury leading to a rematch with Tito Ortiz. A win should move Evans into position to fight the winner of the Jones/Quinton Jackson fight for the UFC title. So, would Evans have any interest in fighting Henderson in some sort of fight with Dan in the future (assuming he regains the 205 pound strap)? He tells a recent ESPN.com chat that he'd love it (HT: MMA Mania):
I'm a big Hendo fan. I picked him [against Fedor] even though I didn't think he was really going to win, but it was a pleasant surprise. I would love to fight him. He's getting better and better -- not so much learning new techniques, but having a stronger competitive mentality.
Unemployed Hendo wants Jones vs. Rampage winner
“I think that could be interesting going forward, a unification fight with the winner of that contest would be a good match,” Dan Henderson told Telegraph Sport from his home tonight.
“I’m the Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion, I’ve beaten Fedor, and I’m unemployed, so we’ll have to see what the talks are now after I’ve had a few weeks off. It’s not a bad position to be in though.”
Strikeforce's Tim Kennedy takes Robbie Lawler to task after decision win
Tim Kennedy is looking for a fight. Does anyone have one for him?
The Special Forces soldier is frustrated. He said it's been a while since he's had a good scrap.
In his past three fights, his opponents have spent more time backing away from him than engaging.
He said his most recent opponent, Robbie Lawler (18-8 MMA, 2-4 SF), is guilty of that charge, and Kennedy (14-3 MMA, 5-1 SF) isn't afraid to say it. Following a unanimous decision over the former EliteXC champion this past Saturday, Kennedy, an active duty solider in the Texas National Guard, said he's getting tired of chasing down a firefight.
"I was really disappointed with myself, and honestly, Robbie," he today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "I wanted to meet in the middle and go. I felt like I was chasing him for 15 minutes, so yeah, bittersweet."
Not two days after their meeting at "Strikeforce and M-1 Global: Fedor vs. Henderson," Kennedy is back at the gym, taking out his frustration on heavy bags and other things that can be hit.
2011 ABC Report on the Half Point MMA Scoring System
The Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC) holds annual conventions, and last year veteran MMA referee and judge Nelson "Doc" Hamilton presented the Half-Point Scoring System as an alternative to the Ten Point Must. A Scoring Committee was then formed to explore the merits of the system and report their findings the following year.
If you're not familiar with the innovative ideas associated with the Half-Point System -- such as the broader gradient of available scores, the referee signaling a near-submission, or the role of the additional fourth judge -- you should be. I suggest reading Doc Hamilton's theory about the existing problems with MMA judging and how the Half-Point System would offer the freedom "to score bouts in a manner that accurately reflects the qualitative difference between the combatants."
The 2011 ABC convention concluded last weekend and I just received a copy of the Scoring Committee's analysis of the Half-Point System. I'm encouraged by the results. The report lays out the positive and negative aspects of each individual component of the system, and their findings indicate a very logical and realistic stance on the judging predicament overall. The entire report is posted in the full entry, but first, I'll extract and compile what I feel are the most noteworthy parts.
UFC Broadcast Partner Versus Re-Branding To NBC Sports
As the UFC continues to search for a solid long-term TV deal while dealing with an increasingly antagonistic relationship with Spike, it is Versus, the UFC's other home, that is undergoing a big change. The sports network, owned by NBC, is going to officially re-brand into NBC Sports. From AOL Sporting News:
Versus officially will turn into the NBC Sports Network on Jan. 2.
The name change, which has been rumored for much of the last year, is timed to coincide with NBC's broadcast of the NHL Winter Classic and the run-up to NBC's February telecast of Super Bowl XLVI.
"Our goal is for anyone who sees the name or logo of one of our assets to immediately connect with NBC Sports," said NBC Sports Group Chairman Mark Lazarus. He will officially announce the name change today at the Television Critics Association tour in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Brazilian Lightweight Ricardo Tirloni Signs With Bellator Fighting Championships
CHICAGO, Ill. (August 1, 2011) - Bellator Fighting Championships confirmed today the signing of top Brazilian lightweight prospect Ricardo Tirloni. Tirloni joins a lightweight division that already features the likes of Season 4 Lightweight Tournament winner Michael Chandler, Patricky Pitbull, Rene Nazare, Marcin Held and Bellator Lightweight World Champion Eddie Alvarez.
Tirloni joins Bellator after compiling an impressive 13-1 record, with notable wins coming over UFC veteran Brian Cobb and WEC veteran Anthony Morrison. Out of his thirteen professional victories, Tirloni has picked up eleven finishes, with six submissions and five knockouts to his credit.
Reminder: "DREAM: Japan GP Final" replay debuts Friday on HDNet
As a reminder, a tape-delayed broadcast of July's "DREAM: Japan GP Final" event debuts on HDNet this week.
Officials recently announced that the July 16 event will debut on HDNet on Aug. 5 at 10 p.m. ET (7 p.m. PT).
The event, which didn't air live on North America, took place at Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo and featured two title fights, as well as the conclusion of the DREAM Japan bantamweight grand prix.
Herb Dean's Actual Missed Call Being Overlooked
One of the biggest stories in the wake of Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson was referee Herb Dean's actions in the main event. While I've written that I feel the stoppage was correct and that Dan Henderson had Fedor Emelianenko knocked out, others (such as MMA Nation's Jonathan Snowden) have taken issue with the speed of the stoppage and/or the strikes to the back of Fedor's head in the final moments of the fight.
The minor controversy has completely overshadowed a moment from the undercard which seems to point out a larger failing on the part of Dean. It appears that during the bout between Gesias Cavalcante and Bobby Green saw Cavalcante lock in a rear naked choke in the final moments of the second round. Sherdog explains:
...referee Herb Dean elected not to call the tapout at the bell, allowed the fight to proceed and left Cavalcante to sweat out a decision. The 28-year-old Brazilian was awarded a split verdict, as all three judges scored it 29-28, two of them in his favor.
Mighty Mouse Believes He has the Answer to Dominick Cruz’s Cat-Like Style
Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson (10-1) is a small guy headed to the big stage. On that stage, he’ll meet a fighter with reflexes like that of a cat in UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz.
The two are slotted to meet in the main event at UFC on Versus 6 in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 1. The challenger is excited to get the chance to, in his view, be the first to “beat” Cruz in a fight.
Cruz has never been beaten? Wait, what?
Roufusport camp opens "Fighter House", welcomes up-and-coming fighters to train
Duke Roufus is looking for the next Erik Koch.
The famed head of the noted Roufusport fight team recently announced he's opened the Roufusport Fighter House, located just five minutes from the team's Milwaukee-based training center.
"The fighter house is something I've been wanting to do on an official basis for a long time," Roufus stated in an official release. "It gives us an opportunity to really show what our guys do on a day-to-day basis and pass on our knowledge to the next generation, which is something Roufusport is committed to."
Reminder: "Countdown to UFC 133" preview show debuts tonight on Spike TV
With Strikeforce's latest fight card in the books, it's now on to the UFC's next pay-per-view event, "UFC 133: Evans vs. Ortiz II."
As a reminder, in anticipation of the show, Spike TV debuts "Countdown to UFC 133" Monday night at 11 p.m. ET/PT.
UFC 133 takes place Aug. 6 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. The pay-per-view headliner pits ex-champions Rashad Evans against late replacement Tito Ortiz.
Scott Coker: Cung Le is going to fight in Strikeforce, hopefully before years end
Middleweight striking specialist Cung Le (7-1 MMA, 7-1 SF) has openly lobbied for a spot in the UFC's planned November trip to San Jose, Calif., but Strikeforce boss Scott Coker doesn't believe that's going to happen.
However, Coker is hopeful Le will return to action soon – hopefully before year's end.
"Cung is going to fight in Strikeforce," Coker told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "Cung wants to fight in November because it's his home town. I'd like to see Cung fight in our December show."
No set plans for Overeem's vacant title, but grand-prix winner an option
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. – For now, the Strikeforce heavyweight belt will collect dust on a shelf.
Following Alistair Overeem's release from the organization this past week, Strikeforce officials are tight-lipped about what's next for his vacated title and have announced no formal plans.
But not surprisingly, the organization's heavyweight grand prix could play a factor in the ultimate decision.